Protoreaction of Protoplasm - New approaches to Cell Biology and Physiology (Dec/30/2005 )
Vladimir Matveev. Protoreaction of Protoplasm. Cell. Mol. Biol. 51(8): 715-723, 2005
Abstract. My goal is to describe briefly the universal cellular reaction (UCR) to external actions and agents. This general reaction was the main subject of investigation by the scientific school of the outstanding Russian cytologist, Dmitrii Nasonov (1895-1957). The UCR consists of two phases of complex changes in cellular viscosity and turbidity, in the cell's ability to bind vital dyes, in the resting membrane potential, and in cellular resistance to harmful actions. Works from the Nasonov School have shown that these changes are based on structural-functional transformations of many cell proteins that react uniformly to actions of different physical and chemical nature. In general, these complex changes do not depend on cell type, indicating the universal and ancient nature of the UCR as well as its general biological significance. A new interpretation of the mechanism of the universal reaction is proposed in this paper, and a possible role for contractile proteins in the mechanism of the UCR of muscle cells is presented. In addition, the concept of cell hydrophobicity is introduced. Nasonov's School proposed a concept of physiological standardization that allows comparison of data obtained by different investigators and that will also be described here.
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PROTOREACTION OF PROTOPLASM
According to an old Indian parable, well known in Russia, residents of the city of blind people asked several respected citizens to act as experts and to describe to them the nature of an elephant, about which they had heard much. It happened that one of these animals was present near the walls of their city. One expert who examined the elephant’s leg by feeling it came to the conclusion that the elephant was a column. Another expert, upon touching carefully the animal’s tail, stated that the elephant was a rope. The expert who got the tusk was absolutely sure that the elephant resembled a ploughshare. Clearly, the experts failed to agree and continued to dispute all their lives, since each one felt that their case was based firmly on established facts. Thus, each of them was in the right, but all of them were wrong on the whole.
Cell physiology and the scientists dealing with study of this discipline somewhat remind us of the meaning of this parable. To some of them, cell physiology focuses on the plasma membrane, to others the nucleus is the key, yet others prefer seeing the key to the mysteries to be found in signaling pathways. The "touching" of individual cell parts continues in contemporary cell biology.
Fortunately, the cell itself gives us examples of its reactions that imply the basis for generalizations, for a broad view of cell physiology. One such example is the universal cellular reaction (UCR) to external actions, which was studied in detail by the physiological school of the outstanding Russian scientist, Dmitrii Nasonov (1895-1957), founder of the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences...
This theme is continued in the article: Vladimir Matveev. Protoreaction of Protoplasm. Cell. Mol. Biol. 51(8): 715-723, 2005.
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